The Mumbai Police will be keeping a close eye on Islamic preacher Zakir Naik once he arrives in the city, deploying plainclothesmen in large numbers.
Naik is expected to arrive in the city on Monday and may address a press conference at a five star hotel at Nariman Point the next day.
A special investigation team, set up after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis asked city police commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar to conduct a thorough probe into Naik’s activities, is scrutinizing his speeches on the Internet, besides studying DVDs, CDs and other literature, including those of his Islamic Research Foundation.
The SIT is monitoring the current status of social networking sites of those wanted and arrested in terror cases in the past.
Police sources said they were also sifting through the interrogation reports of the accused to know how many suspects were influenced by Naik’s speeches. Two years back Areeb Majeed, a Kalyan youth who had fled India and joined the ISIS in Syria only to be deported, after his arrest in India reportedly told interrogators that he was influenced by Naik’s speeches.
In 2006, the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested a man, Feroze Deshmukh, who was allegedly involved in the Aurangabad arms haul case and used to work in the library of the Islamic Research Foundation. Deshmukh is currently out on bail.
Soon after Deshmukh’s arrest another accused in the case identified as Rahil, a Grant road resident, fled India and is said to be in Bangladesh. Deshmukh and Rahil were in constant touch with each other before the case.